Health Care Out-of-pocket Spending among Households with Employer Insurance Varies by State, with PA Families Doing Somewhat Better than Average
May 28, 2019
A recent report from The Commonwealth Fund examines, by state, how much families with employer-based insurance spent on premiums and out-of-pocket costs during 2016-2017. Many families spent thousands of dollars a year, but amounts varied widely among households and from state to state.
Nationwide, the median, or midpoint, annual spend among households consisting of individuals under age 65 and covered by employer insurance was $2,200 for health plan premium contributions. At the high end of the range, households spent $8,000 on premiums, nearly four times the median.
Household spending also varied by state. The median annual household spend on both premiums and out-of-pocket costs ranged from $1,500 (Hawaii) to $5,540 (South Dakota).
For Pennsylvania households, the annual median spend for combined premiums and out-of-pocket costs was $3,364, slightly below the national median of $3,700. Pennsylvania households at the low end of the range spent more ($450) than the national comparison ($300). Those at the high end of the range spent less ($10,900) than the U.S. overall ($12,080).
Pennsylvania households covered by employer insurance compared favorably to national medians for other indicators:
- Median household spending for insurance premiums was $2,000 (compared to $2,200 nationwide)
- Median household spending for out-of-pocket costs was $800—the same as the national median
Compared to the nation overall, Pennsylvania had fewer households with high health care spending (that is, the 90th percentile of the spending distribution):
- 10.9 percent paid high premium contributions, versus 11.6 percent nationally
- 5.6 percent paid high out-of-pocket costs, versus 6.8 percent nationally.
- 2.1 percent paid both high premium contributions and out-of-pocket costs, versus 2.7 percent nationally
To conduct their analysis, Commonwealth Fund researchers used findings from the Current Population Survey, a federal survey of households, to report on the amounts that workers under age 65 and their dependents spent on premium contributions for their employer coverage and on out-of-pocket costs for health care.
For more information about the report, please contact Sari Siegel, PhD, vice president, health care research.